Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
285.00 ft (86.87 m)
Trail type
3.60 mi (5.79 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The hike to Lower Eagle Creek Hot Springs is a solitary hike through a tall river-carved canyon to a unique geothermal area.

First, it should be noted that the hike is on private property with access granted by the energy company. Please respect their rules and the structures and homes near the start of the hike.

From the parking area, a double track road heads downstream, soon leaving the structures behind. Multiple stream crossings will be necessary. Other directions to the spring offer directions in relation to the number of stream crossings, however seasonal conditions may change the exact course of the stream. However hikers should be prepared to get wet up to their knees.

The trail doesn't have much slope to it. Hikers should keep an eye out, as I've seen coatimundi and bighorn sheep on the canyon walls throughout this hike.

A ways down, hikers can veer from the canyon in the direction of a wider open area to the right. This is the bottom of Hot Spring Canyon. While it appears dry at the bottom, heading further up will reveal the stream that travels underground to its confluence with Eagle Creek. Continue up this canyon until small waterfalls become visible on the right side of the canyon. There, a small soaking pool sits, hot and in the cover of the trees.

Following Hot Spring Canyon to its end will reveal a 12 foot cascade which creates a barrier to continuing further. Looking closely to the right here will reveal trickling water from a unique spring, which flows from a warm pool inside a mine shaft above. Proceed toward this carefully and at your own risk, as it sets about 30 feet above the canyon floor, with loose footing up a cliffside maybe/maybe-not footpath. This water is much cooler, and collapsed wooden beams remain beneath the water's surface. This warm pool is like none I have seen anywhere else.

From the geothermal area, hikers can return the way they came back to the parking area.

Several warnings: this area contains no amenities of any kind. Pack more than enough water. The canyon bottom can also reach extreme temperatures, so hikers should be prepared for this. And finally, if reaching the geothermal pools is your goal, even with directions they remain hard to find. Despite the relatively short distance, those hiking in should plan on the hike taking longer than expected.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Unique experience.


Hard to find. A little bit scary.

Trailhead Elevation

3,650.00 ft (1,112.52 m)

Highest point

3,650.00 ft (1,112.52 m)


Near lake or river
Backcountry camping



Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping

Pinaleno + Chiricahua Mountains Area, Arizona


Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.